Quotes of the Day (There’s a lot going on.)

Quote 1:

For it is a fact – Greenpeace and their co-religionists are not primarily concerned about human health (see also: DDT and malaria). Nor is their main concern the welfare of the starving, nor even the broader environment itself. It is, all-importantly, opposition to global capitalism – especially as reflected in the policies of the US and the current administration – whenever possible, whatever the issue and whatever the situation.

Scott Burgess

Quote 2:

There is another side of this. If the media owners have skated by for years based on their oligopolistic control of the distribution function, then so have the practitioners of journalism. Swaddled by the lack of competition, a J-school degree and an attitude have become a substitute for knowing the beat. How long have we suffered with technology reporters whose knowledge is as deep as a showing of Pirates of Silicon Valley? Or business reporters who substitute leftist politics for Econ 101? Reportage will now be held to account by both audience and those reported upon, and it’s high time. Welcome to competition, lads.

Tim Oren

Quote 3:

If Syria can be flipped, the axis is broken. Iran will not be able to communicate directly with the local terrorists. They will be further weakened by the loss of their Syrian sponsor and protector. Prospects for true Lebanese independence and Arab-Israeli peace will improve dramatically.

As Iraq, in fits and starts, begins finding its way to self-rule, the center of gravity of the Bush Doctrine and the American democratization project shifts to Lebanon/Syria. The rapid evacuation and collapse of the Syrian position in Lebanon is crucial not just because of what it will do for Lebanon but because of the weakening effect it will have on the Assad dictatorship.

We need, therefore, to be relentless in insisting on a full (and as humiliating as possible) evacuation of Syria from Lebanon, followed by a campaign of economic, political and military pressure on the Assad regime. We must push now and push hard.

Charles Krauthammer

5 thoughts on “Quotes of the Day (There’s a lot going on.)”

  1. Thanks. Did many of us think a year ago that an argument such as Krauthammer’s could be seriously made by the next April 1?

  2. Here’s quote #4

    If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn’t share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn’t have the resources or the bold–perhaps even somewhat reckless–instincts to pursue the task as he did. And he completely ignored the World Health Organization, showing his contempt for international institutions. Anyway, a cure for cancer is all fine and nice, but what about aids? [Martin Peretz, Editor-In-Chief of The New Republic.]

    Who’da thunk it?

  3. I don’t know why, but it’s very rare to find a site that has only one out of the group [Lancet denialism, global warming scepticism, the DDT hoax] on it. Previously I had thought that Chicago Boyz might be one such, but no.

    Your link above “DDT and malaria” is to a completely misleading article (in fairness, part of the reason that it is misleading is that it is four years old). The United Nations is not “promoting a treaty that might completely ban the use of DDT across the globe”. The Stockholm Convention on Persistant Organic Pollutants specifically exempts DDT use for vector control. Banning the agricultural use of DDT greatly aids its use against malaria, since it impedes the development of resistant mosquitoes. The WHO does, in fact, recommend indoor residual spraying of DDT in regions where mosquitoes are nonresistant.

    The statement that “only Ecuador saw a fall in malaria” between 1996 and 2001 is not borne out by the Pan-American Health Organisation database (http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/coredata/tabulator/newTabulator.htm). It is somewhat odd to use “cases” of malaria as one’s indicator rather than “parasitic incidence per 1000”, as parasitic incidence is what one would hope to control with DDT (the difference between PI and malaria cases being accounted for by prophylactic drugs), but in any case, Ecuador saw 7176 cases of malaria in 1996 and 88,583 in 2001; in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Peru the number of cases fell (they fell in Mexico as well, although Mexico sees a spike in 1998).

    The statement “After 50 years of study there is not one replicated study that shows any harm to humans at all” is untrue; the balance of epidemiological evidence is that DDT is not a carcinogen in humans, but there are plenty of studies on both sides.

    DDT is a sensible part of some kinds of malaria control strategy, but it is not a panacea and not a substitute for more expensive measures like antimalarial drugs and treated nets. The Spiked article lives down to their usual standard. If you want to simply bash environmentalists and call them hypocrites, please do so in a way that doesn’t contribute to the spreading of dangerous falsehoods about malaria control.

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